Embracing another live CD package from the prolific Dave Matthews Band might be a been-there, done-that experience.
Embracing another live CD package from the prolific Dave Matthews Band might be a been-there, done-that experience. Still, "The Central Park Concert," a recording of the band's September benefit for New York's public schools, is one for the collection. The act unleashes a whirlwind of moving, jam-inflected performances on this three-disc set. Most tracks contain unexpected improvisation through furious fiddling or Matthews' vocal musings. So, old favorites ("Dancing Nancies" and "Crush") are dusted off and polished into fresh musical experiences. The three-minute build-up in "Don't Drink the Water" is indulgent, but there is much satisfaction when the beat finally drops on one of the band's more haunting offerings. Jealous of those in attendance? You bet! But this set—which can be complemented by a DVD of the concert—is a fantastic consolation.—SA